Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Skeletons of six babies found during archaeological dig

House of the dead: scientists examine the remains of one of the children.
Muzeum im. ks. Stanisława Staszica w Hrubieszowie/Facebook

Archaeologists have found the skeletons of six babies in a medieval “house of the dead” near Poland’s border with Ukraine.

In 2017, famers started noticing bones appearing in their fields in the village Gródek nad Bugiem, so they swiftly informed the nearby Hrubieszów Museum about the grisly findings. Rightfully so as the bones led to astonishing discoveries - burials from 11th century, the times of Bolesław I the Brave and his famous battle with Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Rus, which took place somewhere nearby.

Excavation work on the site was led by Dr Tomasz Dzieńkowski from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University’s Institute of Archaeology and has covered a site about 300 meters from a medieval stronghold.

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Research reveals secret of who owned the Galloway Hoard

Ecgbeorht rune on silver arm-ring [Credit: National Museums Scotland]

Dr Adrian Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow at National Museums Scotland, said: "It’s really exciting to be able to reveal the first major research finding from the conservation of the Galloway Hoard, a message left by one of the individuals who deposited the hoard 1100 years ago.

We don’t know any more about Egbert than his name right now but there’s something really tantalising about connecting the Galloway Hoard with a named person. Egbert is a common Anglo-Saxon name, and with more research on the rest of the contents of the hoard, we will be able to narrow down its dating and suggest some candidates from the historical record."

"If the hoard belonged to a person or group of Anglo-Saxon speakers, does it mean they were out raiding with other Vikings? Or that these Viking hoards were not always the product of Scandinavian raiders? There are other explanations, but either way this transforms our thinking on the ‘Viking Age’ in Scotland."

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Thousand Year Old Arrowhead Found In Hardanger

The arrowhead is about 12cm long. Photo: Hordaland fylkeskommune

This 12cm-long iron arrowhead was found high up in the mountains near Eidfjord, at the end of the Hardangerfjord.

As glaciers melt and the ground changes, historical artefacts are turning up more frequently. The latest find in the mountains of Hardanger paints an interesting picture.

Around one thousand years ago, a reindeer hunter was out hunting 1,400 metres above sea level at Store Ishaug in Eidfjord, just north of what is now Hardangervidda National Park. He had with him a bow and arrow on his hunt for reindeer. But his aim was poor, and he lost an arrow into the snow.

In September 2019, a local out for a walk near his mountain cabin stumbled across the arrowhead, laying on the floor next to a snowflake. “I immediately realized that it was something special, something from before they used rifles,” said Ernst Hagen.

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Pictish carved beasts 'unlike anything found before'

Pictured from left the stone's carved beasts, an illustration of the beasts carvings 
and a side of stone later used as a grave marker

A 1,200-year-old standing stone discovered in the Highlands has carvings never before seen on a Pictish stone, archaeologists have said.

The stone was found lying in the ground and covered by vegetation at an early Christian church site near Dingwall.

Archaeologists have now revealed the side of the stone that was down in the earth and hidden from view was decorated with "two massive beasts".

Just over a metre of the original two metre-tall (6ft) stone survives.

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Hundreds of archaeological sites uncovered across NI

Hundreds of important archaeological discoveries have been made at excavations across Northern Ireland during the past four years.

The Department for Communities licensed 800 digs, mainly as a requirement of the planning process where developers are required to record important sites.

It has now made details of significant finds available to the public in a booklet entitled Unearthed.

The sites range from Stone Age farms to 19th Century urban industry.

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Thursday, 10 October 2019

Hoards Of Viking Coins Discovered On The Island Of Saaremaa

Some of the silver coins and other finds dating from viking-era Saaremaa. 
Source: Saaremaa museum

Located in the Baltic Sea, Saaremaa is the largest Estonian island. Archaeologists can now investigate two large hoards of silver coin that will offer new light on Vikings’ presence on the island.

The archaeological discovery was made by a licensed hobby detector, who reported the findings to the Heritage Protection Board.
According to EER Estonia, “two separate hoards were found. One of these dating to the second half of the 10th century contained silver coins which came via the Viking trade route which crossed the Baltic from the present-day Swedish island of Gotland to Saaremaa's southern coast, and then on to Lääne County and on to present-day Tallinn.”

Among the coins was also a 1,700-year-old gold bracelet that may be of Viking origin. During the Viking Age in Estonia, the area of Estonia was divided between two distinct cultural areas – Northern and Western Estonia and Southeastern Estonia.

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Another Saaremaa archaeological haul includes viking-era silver coins

Some of the silver coins and other finds dating from viking-era Saaremaa. 
Source: Saaremaa museum

Another archaeological find has been made on the island of Saaremaa, just weeks after a major haul including a 1,700-year-old gold bracelet came to light.

The recent find dates from a later era, the viking period, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, and includes a large number of silver coins, according to both the Heritage Protection Board (Muinsuskaitseamet)  and Saaremaa Museum.

As with the earlier treasure trove, the latest find was the work of a metal detector hobbyist, who, in line with Estonian law, informed the authorities.

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